Suffolk: Sizewell C set to follow construction of Hinkley Point as power price deal is done

Sizewell site near Leiston, Suffolk.
Picture Mike Page

Sizewell site near Leiston, Suffolk. Picture Mike Page

Sizewell C moved a huge step closer today after the announcement of a landmark deal to kick-start Britain's nuclear power programme.

EDF Group and the Government have reached in principle an agreement on the key commercial terms for an investment contract for a new power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

EDF's plans also include proposals for two reactors at Sizewell C – with the aim to build in Suffolk next as both Sizewell and Hinkley Point will be the same type and have a 'series benefit' from a shared design, supply chain and engineering work.

The key announcement today was the 'strike price' – the price for all the power Hinkley generates during its 35-year operating life – from the early 2020s to around 2055.

The price has been set at £89.50/MWh if Sizewell C goes ahead.

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It would rise to £92.50/MWh for if Sizewell C does not proceed.

A spokeswoman for EDF said: 'The balanced investment contract will give investors the confidence to invest in a new nuclear power station which is capable of providing the UK with secure, reliable, low carbon electricity at a fair price for consumers.

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'It shows that new nuclear will be able to save customers money compared to other forms of generation, as well as creating thousands of jobs and strengthening long term industrial capability.'

Finance for the Hinkley Point plant is set to come from EDF Group (45-50%), AREVA (10%), and China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) (30-40%). Discussions are also taking place with a shortlist of other interested parties who could take up to 15%.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'Earlier this month I spoke about our new industrial policy that looks to the future, and about our determination to embrace new technologies and back new industries and energy sources so that they can flourish and help us build a rebalanced economy across the country.

'As part of our plan to help Britain succeed, after months of negotiation, today we have a deal for the first nuclear power station in a generation to be built in Britain.

'This deal means £16bn of investment coming into the country and the creation of 25,000 jobs, which is brilliant news for the South West and for the country as a whole.

'As we compete in the tough global race, this underlines the confidence there is in Britain and makes clear that we are very much open for business.

'This also marks the next generation of nuclear power in Britain, which has an important part to play in contributing to our future energy needs and our longer term security of supply'.

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